It is my ambition to say in ten sentences what others say in a whole book.
— Friedrich Nietzsche

Editing occurs throughout the process of document production. An editor will work with the writer/s to ensure the final product meets the needs of the audience. They have the freedom to suggest changes to entire paragraphs and sentences in order to clarify meaning or improve structure. They look at the document holistically and with the audience in mind.

An editor may suggest large-scale restructuring of documents – for this reason edited work cannot be considered a final draft. Even though editors will check for all the same errors that proofreaders do, further alterations to documents may result in different errors so proofreading is still required after the writer has effected changes to the text. The goal of editing is to help the author/s revise their document to make it a pleasure to read and fit for purpose.

Editing involves checking and improving: 

  • spelling and grammar
  • document structure, layout and flow
  • clarity e.g. suggestions for less confusing ways of saying things, or restructuring sentences to draw focus to the main point
  • references and figures
  • consistency.

Examples of editing jobs

A school sends an e-newsletter once a month, they need someone to collate articles from various sources and present it professionally.

A growing company has policy and procedure documents, but they have been developed by different people over a period of a few years. They need to be uniformly and logically presented, catalogued and version controlled, and checked for consistency.